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AIDS/LifeCycle Canceled Due to COVID-19, But Fundraising Isn’t

AIDS/LifeCycle riders

The 545-mile charity ride for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation won't take place this year, but riders will continue raising funds.

AIDS/LifeCycle, the 545-mile charity ride set to kick off in June from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises funds for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an announcement on ALC’s site.

“Since the coronavirus emergency started, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation have been monitoring the guidance of public health officials in order to determine what would be the best course of action to keep our Riders, Roadies and community as safe and healthy as possible,” ALC said in the statement.

“Given the recent guidance that limits public gatherings for an indeterminate amount of time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the AIDS/LifeCycle 2020 event,” the statement continued.

“We, along with AIDS/LifeCycle staff are heartbroken that our favorite week of the year will not be happening, but we remain focused on our commitment to our mission of raising critical funds for the clients of The Los Angeles LGBT Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.”

Just because ALC, which had its inaugural ride in 2002 (it was previously the California AIDS Ride), is canceled, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to be done.

“We need you now more than ever,” San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner said in a video message to the ALC community (watch the full video below).

“While ALC is being cancelled this year because of the current public health emergency, the center and the foundation will continue to perform the lifesaving HIV prevention and care work that our community needs,” he added. “In fact, it’s anything but business as usual at San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Not only are we providing the services we typically do, we are also using the expertise both of our agencies have developed responding to the AIDS epidemic to do everything we can to make sure that our communities aren’t devastated by coronavirus.”

Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, weighed in on the video with a stark reminder that now is the time to fundraise more than ever.

“Joe and I are deeply concerned that our organizations will not have the financial resources necessary to provide the care that our community not only needs but that they deserve,” Jean said.

“During public health emergencies like the one we are currently experiencing, it is not uncommon for government resources like the ones that fund our agencies to be reallocated to the response,” she continued. “We also anticipate that because of the economic volatility surrounding this crisis that private donations to our organizations will decline.”

Jean went on to say that the combination of circumstances could create a “severe economic crisis” for both organizations.

With all of that said, Jean and Hollendoner asked riders and roadies from ALC 2020 to commit rather to 2021 and to continue fundraising.

ALC is hosting a virtual town hall Monday at 5 p.m. Pacific to answer questions about fundraising and gearing up for the ride in 2021.

The 2019 ride raised $16.7 million for HIV and AIDS programs.

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